The minaret viewed from the rear of the Umayyad Mosque
This minaret, which is on the left side of the Umayyad Mosque is also known as the Jesus (Nabi Isa) minaret. It is from here that Hazrat Isa (Alaihissalaam) will descend back to earth towards the end of time.
Muslims believe that Isa (Alaihissalaam) did not die on the cross but Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) raised him to heaven and he will return one day to defeat the Dajjal (Anti-Christ). According to a Hadith, he is on the second heaven. The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned, “During the Me’raj (Ascension), I met Isa (upon him be peace) on the second heaven. I found him of medium stature, reddish white. His body was so clean and clear, that it appeared as though he had just performed ghusal (ablution, cleansing of the entire body) and come.”
In another Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned, “Allah will send Maseeh ibne Maryam (Messiah son of Mary). Thus he will descend near the white eastern minaret of Damascus, clad in two yellow sheets, leaning on the shoulders of two angels .” [Sahih Muslim]
Aerial view of the Umayyad Mosque
The physical features of Isa (Alaihissalaam): He will resemble the famous sahabi Urwa bin Masoodi (radhiyallahu anhu). He will be of average height and red and white in colour. His hair will be spread to the shoulders, straight, neat and shining as after a bath. On bending his head, it will seem as if pearls are falling. He will have armour on his body. He will be wearing two pieces of cloth light yellow in colour.
He will descend on a Jamaat (group) that will be righteous at the time and comprising of 800 men and 400 women. The people will be preparing for war at the time against Dajjal. It will be time for Fajr prayers, and Imam Mahdi will be the Amir (leader) of the Muslims. From the darkness of the dawn, a sound will suddenly be heard that “one who listens to your pleas has come” – the righteous people will look everywhere and their eyes will fall on Isa (Alaihissalaam).
Briefly, at the time of Fajr, Isa (Alaihissalaam) will descend. When descending, Isa (Alaihissalaam)’s hands will be on the shoulders of two angels (according to another source (Kab bin Ahbar Rahimahullah), a cloud will carry him). On their insistence Isa (Alaihissalaam) will introduce himself. He will inquire about their enthusiasm and thoughts on Jihad against Dajjal. Isa (upon him be peace) will descend on the eastern side near the minaret in Damascus. At the time Imam Mahdi will have proceeded forward to lead the Fajr Salaat. The Iqamat of the Salaat will already have been recited and Imam Mahdi will call Isa (Alaihissalaam) for Imamat (to lead the prayer), but he (Isa (Alaihissalaam) will instead tell Imam Mahdi to lead the prayer since the Iqamat of that Salaat has already been said for him. Thus Imam Mahdi will lead the prayer, and Isa (Alaihissalaam) will follow him. After Salaat Isa (Alaihissalaam) will search for Dajjal (Anti-Christ) and kill him.
Isa (Alaihissalaam) will subsequently kill Dajjal and a great era of peace and harmony will come to the world. Isa (Alaihissalaam) will marry and have children and will live for 19 years after his marriage. He will then pass away and be buried next to the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) in Majid-e-Nabwi, Madinah.